A wise sage from my favorite, albeit short-lived, science fiction series once told the misbehavin’ hero, “I don’t care what you believe. Just believe in it!”
That’s astute advice for all of us, because the things we believe, or disbelieve, will impact every single decision we ever make in our lives. Now, before we get too far, let me say that when I talk about beliefs, I’m not necessarily talking about religious beliefs. We also have philosophical beliefs, political beliefs, beliefs about relationships, beliefs about food and diet and a hundred other things. We even have irrational beliefs, often known as superstitions. Yes, those are beliefs just as much as any of the others and they can impact the decisions we make just the same as anything else we believe.
Think about it. When you have to make a decision, whether you realize it or not, you are subconsciously weighing whether the decision you’re considering agrees with your beliefs, or if you can live with a decision that contradicts what you believe.
For example: Let’s say it’s lunch time and you’re trying to decide between a salad and a bacon cheeseburger. Now, you believe the salad is the healthier choice, and you’re trying to eat more healthy foods. But it’s been a rough day, and you can almost taste that juicy, bacon-kissed goodness.
So, on the one hand, if you choose the salad, you can give yourself a mental pat on the back because you made a decision in line with your beliefs. On the other hand, if you want to choose the cheeseburger, you have to decide if you’re okay with a decision you know goes against what you believe. To minimize the discomfort you feel by making what you believe is the “wrong” decision, you tell yourself it’s just this one time, and you’ll make the better choice next time. Either way, your beliefs about what constitutes healthy eating came into play when you were making your decision. That process applies to every decision you will ever make, even if it’s not obvious.
Don’t worry. It’s not just you. We all play that game of deciding to follow our beliefs or compromise them. It’s part of everyday life. Whether it’s food, or how fast we drive, or who we vote for, or anything else. We either make the choice we believe is right, or decide how much discomfort we can handle and rationalize making a choice we think is wrong, based upon what we believe.
Regardless of the beliefs we have about day to day things and how they affect our choices, there is one thing that you absolutely must believe in if you want to succeed in reaching your goals and dreams.
Without a belief in ourselves, our chances of reaching our goals and dreams are minimal at best. We won’t take any chances, or sometimes any steps toward our goal at all. We tell ourselves, “What’s the use? We’ll never get there.”
Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times; I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Now, no one would have blamed Edison for throwing in the towel after 1,000 failures, maybe even 100, much less 10,000. But the light you see each time you hit that wall switch is proof that Edison was a man with a deep, abiding belief in himself and what he could accomplish. With that kind of belief, not only is failure not an option, it’s almost impossible.
It’s not always easy to say “Yes, I can,” especially when it seems like we keep running into walls and obstacles while we’re chasing our dreams. But whenever you feel like giving up, do whatever you have to do to keep going. Have a friend or family member give you a pep talk. Read a motivational book, watch Rocky, or try positive affirmations, whatever you have to do to keep moving forward. Maybe something as simple as looking at a light bulb and thinking about Edison. Always remember, when you have those slips, if you can keep picking yourself up and brushing yourself off for another try, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
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